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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What time does the Generations in Jazz Festival start on Friday?
    Generations in Jazz officially commences on Friday afternoon with the Welcome Dinner commencing at 5.00pm followed by the Welcome Concert at 7:00pm. This concert concludes at approx. 8.30 pm so that schools can make their way back to their accommodation. A number of schools will travel throughout the day on Friday arriving in Mount Gambier in the early afternoon to settle into accommodation, tour the area and get a quick rehearsal in before making their way to the site for the evening events. Schools that wish to arrive early Friday morning are invited to conduct band rehearsals at various locations around Mount Gambier in preparation for the Saturday's competition.
  • What time does the Generations in Jazz Festival conclude on Sunday?
    Sunday concludes at approximately 12:30pm after the Finale and Awards Concert. Lunch will be available at the conclusion of the concert. Some schools do leave earlier on Sunday depending on the distance and type of travel involved.
  • Where do I pick up my registration pack?
    Once you have arrived on Friday, your school registration pack will be located at your accommodation venue. If you school is not going to your accommodation venue prior to your meal and concert we ask that you let us know so your box can be collected at the office on Friday evening. We ask that prior to your arrival on site that all participants are wearing their festival ID which will assist our volunteers in ensuring we get you to the right locations. We also ask that your ID/passes are worn for the duration of the event.
  • Will there be storage available on site for instruments?
    Due to the large number of participants and instruments there will be limited on-site storage of instruments. It is advised that instruments and personal belongings not in use be stored in buses. Instrument transport services will operate to assist with moving instruments to buses. A bus driver or supervisor must be available to accompany the instrument transport either for instruments being taken to/or returned from a performance venue. GIJ will provide all buses with a School Sign upon arrive on Friday. We ask ALL bus drivers to clearly display this sign in your front windows on the Saturday as this assists our instrument transport team to find your school bus.
  • How much spending money will I need during the festival?
    During the Festival you will have the opportunity to buy a range of GIJ merchandise, Artists CDs, etc. Unless you are intending to spend up big, $50 a day (if buying food and snacks) should be sufficient.
  • If I have questions during the weekend, are there volunteers I can ask?
    The Festival Team will be providing a highly visible volunteer team to help you out during the festival. Also, the main office located near the James Morrison Pavilion will be staffed by the event team who can assist with any questions relating to any aspect of the event.
  • Where can I go if I am sick or need First-Aid assistance during the weekend?
    There is a clearly marked First Aid tent as well as a number First Aid staff stationed onsite. Should you require First Aid assistance and cannot get to the First Aid site we ask you that you speak with a volunteer who will relay this information to the site office and assistance will be activated. Please ensure your students are properly hydrated throughout the weekend as dehydration can lead to a range of health issues such as headaches, dizziness and fatigue. Please Note: It is encouraged that school also bring extra water, medication for students as First Aid staff will be unable to provide any medication unless in a medical emergency. Panadol and asthma medication will not be issued to any students without the consent of supervising teaching staff. Supervising staff are reminded to bring all medication requirements and consent forms to the festival site for students and not left on buses or at accommodation venues. (Carry them with you.)
  • Is there a dress code for performances?
    Generations in Jazz encourage all schools to set a neat and tidy dress code for their students. Some stage bands and vocal ensembles choose to reveal their fashion style for their performances and some wear their weekday uniform. Night time temperatures may drop below zero and daytime not much warmer. All venues are indoors but you will need warm clothing, weatherproof jacket, hat, gloves and waterproof footwear or boots that are appropriate for getting between venues.
  • Where is Lost Property?
    If you find or lose something, please go to the Festival Office near the James Morrison Pavilion and one of our dedicated administration volunteers will be able to assist.
  • Accounts and Payment?
    The Generations in Jazz Account steam will issue your school with a Tax Invoice for the number of participants attending– ie Students / Teachers/ Supervisors and Bus Drivers. The fee per participant will be determined by the accommodation option you have been allocated. The school portal will allow you to create an Invoice based on the number of participants in your party and the accommodation rate. Generations in Jazz Inc request that this amount is settled prior to attending the Event, unless other arrangements are made with our Account steam. For all account queries please email accounts@generationsinjazz.com.au
  • Can I make alterations to the Set Piece for Generations in Jazz?
    The short answer is no. Sections cannot be cut, edited, or changed. Only in the new Div 4 (mixed Instrumentation) are you allowed to make major changes to the test piece as far as instrumentation. Subtle instrumentation variations are allowed (see SBA rules and guidelines) in all other Divisions, but only within the written guidelines. However, exaggeration of marked dynamics (within stylistic/musical context) and additional dynamics are encouraged. Alterations/cuts/edits to your ballad and own choice are not encouraged but are accepted. For additional clarification, please get in touch with Generations in Jazz at: schools@generationsinjazz.com.au
  • What kind of program should we be presenting at Festival?
    Each band should be presenting a varied program across their three charts. The Set Piece, and performance of a ballad (of your choice) are compulsory. If the test piece is a swing chart, playing a chart with a straight eighth note rhythmic feel (Latin, funk, contemporary straight 8ths, etc...) as your own choice is a good idea. If the test piece is a straight eighth note rhythmic feel (Latin, funk, etc.), you must play a swing chart as your own choice selection. Swing rhythmic style must be demonstrated predominantly in one chart in each band's performance. If the test piece is a swing chart and you would like to perform another swing piece as your own choice, ideally you would select a chart of a different tempo to the test piece. For example, if the test piece is a medium-tempo swing chart, ideally, your own choice selection would be a faster tempo. Alternatively, should the test piece be a fast-swing tempo, select a medium tempo but not a ballad tempo. Note: Marks will not be deducted for playing more than one swing chart.
  • We have an unusual instrumentation/line-up. Which division should we perform in? Can we perform in higher divisions with reduced / altered line-ups?
    With the exception of Division 1, subtle instrumentation and size variations within bands are acceptable. Please inquire should there be any concerns. Should your ensemble have significant instrumentation variations, a heavily reduced or inflated line-up, please consider Division4+(mixed instrumentation) or Division 5 (non-competitive)
  • We are a small ensemble/jazz combo and play small group material, not big band, can we compete at Generations in Jazz?
    Yes, Generations in Jazz now offers a Small Jazz Combo division for groups with a minimum of four and up to nine members. This section is aimed at groups playing small ensemble jazz, not big band material.
  • Can students perform in multiple big bands in varying divisions?
    Students are permitted to perform in another ensemble in a different division only if performing on a different instrument. GIJ is aware of the impacts of COVID-19 to music departments around the country, whereby ensembles may be struggling to fill positions due to low student numbers. GIJ would like to ensure schools that GIJ supports maximum inclusivity and participation by allowing students to cross over into ensembles in different divisions in order for ensembles to function correctly and provide the best performance outcome for all students. While GIJ understands the competitive element of the Event, central to the GIJ weekendis the positive performance experience for the student. As such, GIJ proposes the following model as a guide, but directors will be required to indicate on their performance manifest students from higher divisions performing in ensembles performing in lower divisions. Schools may allow a maximum of two players per section (trumpet, trombone, sax and rhythm) to cross over from a higher or lower division to supplement their Ensemble but not exceed a maximum number of six cross-over playersin total per Ensemble. GIJ requests that this optionis only undertaken when a position cannot be filled and not at the expense of a performance opportunity for a student. Student cross-over must be done within reason and at the Director's discretion to avoid an obvious advantage to the Ensemble. For example, it would be unacceptable for a division two-stage band to install an entire trombone section from its Division one-stage band. Similarly, it would not be acceptable for lead chairs (trumpet, trombone and alto sax) of lower division bands to be filled by lead players from higher division bands in support of other students receiving an opportunity to perform these leading roles. Students performing in higher divisions are permitted to assist ensembles performing in Division 5 (non-competitive).
  • One of my band members has fallen ill / had to pull out at the last minute. What can I do?
    In the emergency case of illness, a student from another band at the school (higheror lower) may perform in the missing student's place. The Band's Director is responsible for informing Generations in Jazz of this, as the fill-instudent will not be eligible for Superband or Future finalist selection or any other awards in that Division.
  • Can a staff member fill in for a sick/absent student?
    If your school only has one band performing and does not have another student able to fill in, a teacher or staff member may fill in. This will result in the school not being eligible for a place or ranking in their division. The band will still perform the required adjudication pieces and receive feedback from the adjudicator.
  • Can I have a vocalist sing with my band in the Stage Band Award or Jazz Combo?
    Yes, you can have a solo vocalist feature on either your ballad or own choice. All Stage Band Award venues will have two (2) solo microphones on stage. Your vocalist should use one of these.
  • I have two guitarists. Will amps be provided for both?
    For each Division, Generations in Jazz will supply a backline for a standard big band rhythm section (drumkit, bass amp, guitar amp, piano or keyboard, vibes). Should you require additional amps/gear, each school must provide these. Please Note: Transporting individual, and school gear on and off stage is your responsibility and must fit into your allocated stage time. If you require additional amps/gear, these must be provided by each individual school.
  • Can my drummer use their own snare and cymbals?
    Yes, but it is the drummer or the band director's responsibility to replace the house snare and cymbals to their original state at the end of your performance. Please Note: This all must fit into your allocated stage time.
  • Who do I contact if I have a question that isn't on the FAQ
    Schools and individuals are welcome to contact schools@generationsinjazz.com.au for any queries relating to the Stage Band Awards.
  • Is there a dress code for performances?
    Generations in Jazz encourage all schools to set a neat and tidy dress code for their students. Some stage bands and vocal ensembles choose to reveal their fashion style for their performances and some wear their weekday uniform. Night time temperatures may drop below zero and daytime not much warmer. All venues are indoors but you will need warm clothing, weatherproof jacket, hat, gloves and waterproof footwear or boots that are appropriate for getting between venues.
  • As the Div 2 SBA Set Piece, Remembering Basie, is a Basie-style ballad, am I correct in thinking bands in Div 2 would not need to select an additional ballad? This would mean we would select two contrasting Own Choice pieces (likely a faster swing and a latin/funk/modern straight 8ths piece), in addition to the Set Piece.
    As indicated on the GIJ Set Pieces webpage, stage bands are expected to perform three pieces: The GIJ Set Piece (usually a medium to uptempo swing or straight 8ths composition) Ballad of Own Choice Own-Choice (usually contrasting in style to the set piece and ballad) In 2024 the Division Two Set Piece is a slow swing tune that falls into the ballad tempo ballpark. Therefore, with a ballad as the Set Piece for Division 2, the likely choices for the two own-choice pieces are: a medium to uptempo swing, straight 8ths, funk or Latin tune & a piece that stylistically contrasts the above selection but is not a ballad (the same style as the test piece). However, GIJ understands bands may not have anticipated a ballad tempo test piece and, before knowing the style of the test piece, selected a ballad to showcase particular attributes of the band. With this in mind and to give bands the greatest flexibility, GIJ decided to implement two own-choice pieces in division two. As GIJ’s primary focus is the educational experience for every participant, we want to support the best outcomes for all students and, as such, would support the performance of a ballad own-choice piece should its characteristics be contrasting to that of the test piece. An own-choice ballad may still be swing style and of a similar tempo to that of the test piece, but the arrangement would need to demonstrate characteristics that would justify its program selection, such as a featured soloist(s), soli passages, rubato playing, chorale passages, independent parts within sections of the band, different time signature or underlying rhythmic pulse. Bands will not be penalised for performing an own-choice ballad in addition to the set piece. However, adjudicators will mark accordingly should the contrasting elements between the two ballads be unclear.
  • Can we bring our own accompaniment?
    Division 1 (Large): Yes, you can bring your own rhythm section for your own choice piece only, or you can use your own pre-recorded backing track. Note: No house band will be provided by GIJ in 2024 Division 1 (Small): Yes, you can bring your own rhythm section for your own choice piece only, or you can use your own pre-recorded backing track. Note: No house band will be provided by GIJ in 2024 Division 2 (Large): No. The set piece has a pre-recorded rhythm section backing that will be used by every Ensemble on the day. The OWN CHOICE must be a cappella. Division 2 (Small): No. The set piece has a pre-recorded rhythm section backing that will be used by every Ensemble on the day. The OWN CHOICE must be a cappella. Division 3 (Large): Yes, you are required to provide your own single instrument accompanist (piano/guitar/), backing track (can be multiple recorded instruments), or perform a cappella. Division 3 (Small): Yes, you are required to provide your own single- instrument accompanist (piano/guitar/), backing track (can be multiple recorded instruments), or perform a cappella
  • Can we have a sound check before our performance?
    A total of 15 minutes stage time (Div 1 & 2) and 10 minutes (Div 3) will be allocated for each Vocal Ensemble and during this time your adjudicator will run a quick level check to test foldback, solo microphone and accompaniment levels. The adjudicators will give each group using a backing track the chance to test the track's level before you begin your performance. Vocal Ensemble warm-up areas will be provided prior to performance times.
  • Can we have common members in two different vocal ensembles?
    This is always acceptable if one of those ensembles is a large ensemble (7+ voices) and the other is small (4-6 voices). Additionally, GIJ is aware of the impacts of COVID-19 on music departments around the country, whereby ensembles may be struggling to fill positions due to low student numbers. GIJ would like to ensure schools that GIJ supports maximum inclusivity and participation by allowing students to cross over into ensembles in different divisions in order for ensembles to function correctly and provide the best performance outcome for all students. While GIJ understands the competitive element of the Event, central to the GIJ weekend is the positive performance experience for the student. As such, GIJ proposes the following model as a guide, but directors will be required to indicate on their performance manifest students from higher divisions performing in ensembles performing in lower divisions: Schools may allow a maximum of 30% of their vocal Ensemble entered in a lower division to consist of vocalists from higher division ensembles. Please indicate the names of the students participating in multiple divisions on your performance manifest. GIJ requests that this option be only undertaken when a position cannot be filled and not at the expense of a performance opportunity for a student. Student cross-over must be done within reason and at the discretion of the Director to avoid an obvious advantage to the Ensemble. For example, it would be unacceptable for a division three vocal Ensemble to contain a majority of members from a division 1 ensemble at the expense of less experienced vocalists being able to participate.
  • I'm not sure our own choice piece is jazzy enough. Who makes this decision?
    Ultimately, the Vocal Ensemble Director decides upon the suitability of the repertoire for the competition. If you are in doubt and would like to have some input, you can write schools@generationsinjazz.com.au and we will assist you in your choice. There is an understanding within the competition that the umbrella of what constitutes jazz- appropriate repertoire will be broaderin the lower divisions than in the higher ones.
  • Our Ensemble would like to make alterations to the score. Is this permitted?
    Yes, if you clearly mark any changes on the score provided to the adjudicators. If you choose to alter an element of the score that the adjudicators deem to be detrimental rather than beneficial, this will be reflected in your adjudication. If you would like to make a significant alteration to any of the set pieces, it would be prudent to check this with the song's composer. Such changes are not advisable unless a valid reason is evident. Email schools@generationsinjazz.com.au to discuss your options. If you wish to change the key of a cappella piece to suit your Ensemble's range better, you do not need to receive permission to do so. You do need to mark this on your adjudicator's score.
  • In Division 3, are we allowed to provide a more involved accompaniment than just a piano, guitar or backing track? For example, a full rhythm section?
    No. For time and consistency reasons, this is only possible in Division 1. If you wish to use a rhythm section accompaniment, you must have it pre-recorded and perform to the backing track recording.
  • Can we use a backing track accompaniment for our own choice piece?
    In Division 1 and 3 (Large and Small) You will need to your backing track to the portal before your performance, so the tracks can be lined up ready to go on the day.
  • Will our performance be amplified?
    Yes. In keeping with the contemporary nature of the Jazz vocal ensemble style, and often equally to ensure your Ensemble can be heard, all Vocal Ensemble performances will be amplified. The sound and venue specifications will become available closer to the Event, but in general, each Ensemble will have a minimum of four solo microphones and two general choir pick-up mics for the Ensemble. In the small ensemble division, seven microphones will be provided to enable your Ensemble to be individually miked if you choose to utilise this setup
  • Do we have a choice over how to position our Ensemble for performance?
    Yes. During the ten minutes stage time, you can choose to move risers, mics and foldback monitors to create the positioning your ensemble prefers.
  • Is choreography permitted?
    Yes, but your adjudication will not reflect this unless the choreography proves detrimental to the musical performance. When in doubt, leave it out.
  • Are performers permitted to read sheet music during the performance?
    Yes, if necessary; however, remember that a significant portion of your adjudication will focus on conveying the lyric/message and your connection with the audience.
  • Does our conductor/director have to be on stage with us?
    No. If you feel your performance would be improved by having your Director direct you during the performance, you may wish to choose this option. However, it is more in keeping with the Jazz vocal ensemble tradition for a group to be at least partially, if not wholly, self-directed during a performance. This will of course depend on the size of the Ensemble and the nature of the piece. You will not specifically be marked down for having your Director on stage. You will, however, be marked down for failing to communicate with your audience or not effectively conveying the lyric/meaning. If you choose to be directed during your performance, the adjudicator will still be looking for the Ensemble's ability to connect with the audience.
  • Is there an upper limit to the size of the vocal ensemble?
    Not within the large ensemble divisions; however, jazz choirs are traditionally on the smaller side - usually up to 24 voices as a guide. In keeping with the spirit of Generations In Jazz, the aim is to foster inclusivity and participation. If your school chooses to enter a larger ensemble, this is acceptable.
  • Will our performance be recorded?
    The adjudicator records each school's performance on a Zoom device, and verbal comments are given throughout. Each school is encouraged to record and/or video their performance for a comment-free recording. Generations in Jazz does not provide video footage to the vocal ensembles.
  • Is there a dress code for performances?
    Generations in Jazz encourage all schools to set a neat and tidy dress code for their students. Some stage bands and vocal ensembles choose to reveal their fashion style for their performances and some wear their weekday uniform. Night time temperatures may drop below zero and daytime not much warmer. All venues are indoors but you will need warm clothing, weatherproof jacket, hat, gloves and waterproof footwear or boots that are appropriate for getting between venues.
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